We read the rave reviews in the Friday paper. Josh Groban was in it. The paper had a story about his acting. It sounded fun, so we went. We actually don’t go to the movie very often. There are a few movies (mostly PG-13) that I consider the most destructive to the moral fiber of our society because they are clever, funny and the characters are warm and endearing. The last time I had such a strong negative feeling about such a movie was “Sleepless in Seattle.” (Mostly I avoid the romantic comedies now) I know immorality when I see it, but when it is wrapped so prettily in so much charm you want to overlook it. This movie was as raunchy as they get and it should have been R rated!
Dan in Real Life is one of my favorite romantic comedies. Steve Carell was great in this movie so I looked forward to seeing him in a similar role. What a disappointment. It started with Steve’s character Cal being told by his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) that she wanted a divorce because she was having an affair with an office mate. Cal moves out of the house and begins hanging out in a bar drinking to distraction. The alcohol flowing bar scenes are plentiful. Jacob (Ryan Gosling) hears Cal crying in his booze and takes Cal under his wing to teach him how to pick up women in the bar. Jacob is the king of one night stands with gorgeous women. Cal’s son is cute and endearing even as we see him discuss masturbation with the babysitter (also darling), whom he professes to love throughout the movie. But the babysitter is in love with Cal and takes nude pictures of herself to give to him. But it is all in fun, nothing serious. Jacob finally finds a girl he loves (I won’t give the plot away) and we know that he will be true to her even though he has been a serial womanizer for who knows how long. Cal ends up convincing 9 women, from the bar, to come home with him (not in the same night).
This is unbelievably raunchy! But in the end it affirms marriage. But here is the dangerous part: How can marriage or family ever work with this kind of irresponsible, immoral behavior? It is frightening that some 13 year old is sitting there thinking that it can. And everyone laughed because it all looked so fun.